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Either of two isomers with the formula C4H8: but-1-ene (CH3CH2CH:CH2), which is made by passing 1-butanol vapour over heated alumina, and but-2-ene (CH3CH:CHCH3), which is made by heating 2-butanol with sulphuric acid. They are unpleasant-smelling gases used in the manufacture of polymers. The isomer 2-methylpropene (CH3)2C:CH2) was formerly called isobutene or isobutylene. See alkenes.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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